Thanksgiving may be a holiday associated with the United States and Canada, but thanks to unique traditions all over the world, this holiday takes on many guises across the globe.
The holiday, which began as a tradition to give thanks for the blessing of a good harvest, is now a way for family and friends to get together and give thanks for each other and all the good things that have happened to them throughout the year.
Thanksgiving traditions in the US usually include charitable donations and fundraising, the gathering of families for a feast (generally including a turkey) and of course, the spectacular parades that take place across the country.
While we may all recognize these great traditions from the US, Thanksgiving is often celebrated in different ways in other countries all around the world.
Germany has its own version of Thanksgiving known locally as Erntedankfesat.
This extremely popular festival does not usually include a large meal and family gathering like in the States. The holiday is a popular religious celebration and therefore many churches are decorated with flowers and autumnal crops and attended for services on the day.
Japan celebrates Thanksgiving as Labor Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday that usually takes place on November 23 every year.
It is officially stated as a day to “commemorate labor and production and giving one another thanks.”
Japan holds many events on this day to celebrate the holiday and often gifts are given amongst friends and family members.
China celebrates their own Mid-Autumn Moon festival, a day on which they believe the moon it at its biggest and brightest.
Traditions include telling loved ones how much they mean to you and gifting each other the traditional ‘mooncake.’
Brazil celebrates a version of Thanksgiving that is often closely compared to the holiday as it is celebrated in the US.
For most locals, the day begins with a church service which revolves around giving thanks for a full harvest that year. The ceremonies are then followed by music, dancing and festivities not dissimilar to Carnival.
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